HOUSTON – The cost to gather around the Thanksgiving table is costlier this year, although estimates suggest record inflation may be on the decline.
The Avian flu caused turkey prices to soar, while eggs, flour and other staples are also higher than a year ago.
“Everybody is hurting with inflation. We know that some of the prices are going up, but we are doing our best to keep things as stable as possible,” said Lisa Helfman, Senior Director of Public Affairs with H-E-B Houston.
Helfman said the grocery chain slashed its turkey prices from $1.45 a pound to $.45 a pound.
She also said H-E-B is also offering a free 12-pound turkey with the purchase of a spiraliges ham to help stretch the holiday feast budget. Helfman also suggests mixing canned food with fresh to keep shopping bills intact or even buying frozen.
“You might buy packaged stuffing and just add some celery and onions to that, and that’s a way to mix it up a little and still have your favorite recipe but cut some costs and corners in certain ways,” she added.
Nicole Lopez is the Media Director for City Wide Club of Houston, which is nationally known for its large Thanksgiving feast
“It’s not just the homeless that we’re servicing. It is communities all across the city,” Lopez said. “Families have just been so impacted this holiday season.”
The non-profit is getting ready for its 44th annual Super Feast hot meal distribution and grab-and-go meals for thousands of families at the George R. Brown Convention Center on Thanksgiving Day. Lopez said they’re aiming to provide 40,000 meals, but donations of turkeys and canned food are well below target.
“Donations are looking a little bleak right now. We typically need about 10,000 turkeys in order to fill, not only the in-person feeding that we do, but also the food baskets that we deliver and have in the back of the GRB to send home with people,” Lopez said.
She said the organization currently has 1,500 turkeys. Lopez is hoping Houstonians will help meet the need on Nov. 21 by donating food needed for the feast at the GRB starting at 7 a.m.
Monetary donations are accepted as well, Lopez said.
“It’s really not an option for us at this point to scale back operations because there’s so much need in the market and we are very confident that the City of Houston and all the residents will really wrap their arms around us and find it within their hearts to be generous and give this holiday season,” Lopez added.
She said 1,500 volunteers are also needed to help set up the event, cook, and distribute food. You can find out more information about Super Feast and how to help here: 44th Annual “Super Feast” – City Wide Club of America
Helfman said H-E-B is not doing a Thanksgiving-themed food distribution, but they are planning to provide 20,000 hot meals at Delmar Stadium on Dec. 3. She said that’s in addition to a full box of produce and provisions to make a holiday meal.
The holiday distribution boxes will be given away from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on a first-come-first-served basis to 5,000 vehicles.